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Punjab budget equally allocated in districts: Hashim Jawan Bakht

Says economic conditions require appropriate financial planning and taking benefits from the proposals of expert economists, agricultural and industrial sectors have been given special importance

Jahangir Hayat

LAHORE: For the first time in the history of Punjab budget has been equally allocated in all the districts. It has been endeavoured to promote economic activities by providing civic facilities in small cities. Economic condition of our country require appropriate financial planning and taking benefits from the proposals of expert economists, agricultural and industrial sectors have been given special importance so that maximum benefits can be derived from CPEC in days to come. It has also been endeavoured to provide maximum relief to those people living below poverty line and are also major victim of economic plummet. 10 percent pay has been raised for government servants serving upto grade 17 in the province.

These views were expressed by Provincial Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht in a Post-Budget Press Conference held at 90-Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam Lahore today. Provincial Finance Minister declared “Punjab Ahsas Programme” is a game changer in the province and said that social sector is the first and foremost priority of present government and for this reason most part of the budget for next financial year in the province will be spent on the provision of facilities like education, health and clean water. It has also been ensured to arrange participation of private sector for the development of infrastructure. Anyhow, it does not mean that opportunities for private sector partnership do not exist in other sectors. Present government is also providing ample opportunities to the private sector in the fields of education, health and agriculture. The Provincial Finance Minister also informed that tax imposed on farmers on the basis of their income has been reduced from Rs. 1.5 Lac annually to Rs. 3000/- only. No further tax has been imposed on barbers and cobblers. On the contrary last year 11 percent tax reduction has been done on beauty saloons on already imposed 16 percent tax and thereby reducing tax ratio to five percent. No further increase has been made in the next financial year. Chairman Social Protection Authority Ali Asjad Malhi, Secretary Planning and Development Iftikhar Sahu, Secretary Finance Abdullah Sumbal, Special Secretary Finance Mujahid Sherdil, Secretary Excise & Taxation and Chairman Punjab Revenue Authority also participated in the press conference. Chairman Social Security Protection Authority Ali Asjad Malhi by giving detailed briefing on “Punjab Ahsas Programme” said that Punjab government is introducing equality programme for the protection of rights of those deserving persons aged above 65 years, female victims of acid attack, disabled persons and transgenders. Transgenders will be provided opportunities under “Punjab Ahsas Programme” in getting technical training and doing business. For the first time in the history a formal policy has been formulated for the rehabilitation of transgenders under which they will be ridden of unjust behavior meted out to them from the society. Ali Asjad Malhi on behalf of CM Punjab also announced to share the responsibility of treatment of innocent females becoming victim of molestation in all the four provinces of Pakistan, in addition to bearing their travel expenses for reaching Lahore.

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